Media Response Old Gym Site Wheelers Hill

Questions and Responses

Could we get the document that Geoff Lake referred to in council officers’ notes regarding their support of the new proposal?

The document that Councillor Lake referred to is an internal working document outlining the rationale for the delegates position on the amended plans. 

As this is an internal working document and not a Council report we are unable to provide this to you. 

What were the changes made to the proposal that made it acceptable for council officers?

The original application was recommended for refusal by officers and issues associated with the application at that time related to:

  • Built form
  • Design detailing of facades
  • Integration with the street
  • Private open space provision
  • Internal amenity
  • Removal of vegetation
  • Design of car parking
  • Compliance with Design and Development Overlay – Schedule 5

The applicant submitted a series of amended plans through the VCAT process, but the final plans that were then considered appropriate contained a number of improvements that addressed the original concerns with the application.  In brief, these changes included:

  • A reduction in the number of dwellings from 80 to 67
  • Increased spacing of dwellings along the western boundary
  • Increased vegetation retention
  • Improvements to the layout and location of visitor car parking
  • Improvements to the streetscape presentation of dwellings.

As a result of these plans the officer assessment was that the application was worthy of support.

Are there any numbers as to how many councillors agreed to support it?

We have discussed the delegations process below.  In line with this delegation, the majority of Councillors in attendance supported the officer’s position on the amended plans.  This was not a decision of Council and there was not a formal vote.     

Anything else?

At the most recent VCAT Compulsory Conference (CC) on 16 July 2019 amended plans were tabled for Officer consideration. Council was required by VCAT to provide a position on these plans by 9am 24  July 2019 in time for the next CC.

Unfortunately the timeframes from VCAT do not always allow for consideration of amended plans at a formal Council meeting as would be preferred.  The delegation from Council to officers allows for an alternative position to be put to VCAT if amended plans are considered to be worthy of support and for this position to be put by officers where there is the majority support of Councillors.  As a result of the officers assessment and this process, VCAT was advised that Council was now in a position to support the application on the basis of the amended plans.

Issued: 1 August 2019
To: Monash Leader
Quoting: Mayor, Councillor Shane McCluskey